HR Strange But True!
March 08, 2007

Gregg Stebbin of BestLife Magazine says one of the best ways to avoid doing anything that might get you in trouble in the workplace is to put a picture of your mother in your cubicle. You wouldn't do anything bad in front of her, would you? And if that picture would cause too much angst, he suggests a picture of the ultimate mom--Carol Brady.

He made the comments during an interview on WELI radio in Connecticut about an article on workplace surveillance.

"You can't stop the boss from spying on you," Stebben says. "But you can make sure you don't get into trouble."

Just don't say, do, or type anything you wouldn't want on the front page of the newspaper or on CNN, he says.

Stebbin says that employers must tell employees that they are being monitored, but not exactly how. So that "camera" in the ceiling may be a dummy; it's the smoke detector, thermostat, cell phones, pens--or even that decorative green plant--that could be hiding surveillance equipment.

In fact, the article reports that over three-quarters of U.S. employees electronically monitor employees in some way, not because they don't trust employees, but to protect themselves in potential litigation. What you do, say, watch online, and even key can all be monitored with relatively inexpensive and unsophisticated technology. The article reports that two employees at a bank in New Jersey were recently fired for e-mailing a picture with Hillary Clinton's head superimposed on a naked model.

While prevention of corporate spying, theft, and other security issues are often a prime motivator, employees can get caught up in a surveillance trap. Even if they aren't stealing company secrets, getting caught watching porn sites, or sending politically incorrect jokes by e-mail can leave employees publicly embarrassed and, worse, torpedo their careers.

Source: WELI

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